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Printed at: 03:44:38 / 18-09-2021

Anxiety Management Relaxation

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What is stress?

• State of physical and mental tension
• Can be a positive state
• Fight or flight response – increase in Adrenalin, heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension
• All the above symptoms are natural and necessary to deal with stressful situations
• If a stressful state is not relieved it can lead to a state of anxiety

Anxiety can affect people in three ways:
o Physical
 Headache
 Palpitations
 Nausea
 Light headedness
 Sweating
 Weak legs

o Behavioural
 Avoiding situations
 Restlessness
 Changes in appetite
 Increased sleep problems
 Trying to rush things
 Becoming frightened

o Psychosocial
 Reduced concentration
 Reduced short term memory
 Irritable
 Confusion
 Emotionally labile (tendency to laugh and cry very easily and move from one emotional state to another very quickly)
 Nervousness

All three areas can then build up on one another and escalate into a full blown panic attack.

Breathing rate increases
The anxiety spiral below demonstrates this:

Strategies that may help with the avoidance of the anxiety spiral:
o Identify the triggers
o Learn to relax
o Distraction
o Try to understand what is happening

Healthy ways of dealing with stress:
o Find a new hobby
o Give yourself a treat
o Listen to music
o Change of scenery
o Visit a friend
o Join a support group

Less healthy ways to deal with stress:
o Doing nothing
o Walk away
o Adopt a sick role
o Blame others

Quick relaxation
Mini relaxation
1. Put both feet flat on the floor
2. Take one deep breath in for a slow count of 3 whilst stretching your arms and hands away from your sides
3. Pull your shoulders down and let your arms flop loosely by your sides
4. Breathe out for another slow count of 3
5. Lift up your head and smile

Deep breathing control
1. Take a slow deep breath, draw breath as far as your lower abdomen
2. As you breathe out, slowly and fully feel the tension dying away
3. Repeat this 3 more times. Continue breathing naturally; breathe more deeply and slowly than usual.
4. You should notice you feel more in control, steadier and calmer.